Baringo governor aspirants clash over state of the county

Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The ailing health sector, stalled projects, and corruption in the Baringo County Government featured prominently as seven aspirants took to the stage during a gubernatorial debate.

Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, former Governor Benjamin Cheboi, former Wildlife PS Fred Segor, former Elgeyo Marakwet director of procurement Robert Chelagat, former Baringo County Assembly Clerk Richard Koech, Eldama Ravine MP Moses Lessonet and Sialo Kimiring participated in the debate.

During the debate held at Kabarnet School of Government, Kiptis admitted the county’s health sector is ailing as he indicated it has been operating for months without functional key machines.

The governor, who was responding to a question asked by the locals, said the CT scan has been faulty since last year.

Residents seeking medical attention visit nearby counties as some crucial services and drugs are not found in the hospitals.

The seven used the debate to engage in a blame game.

Former Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

“I accept that we have a lot of challenges in our health care sector. Our CT scan machine broke and is under repair. We are facing challenges when it comes to procurement of drugs,” Kiptis said.

Kiptis felt the pressure when his opponents and the electorate accused him to address a number of issues ranging from insecurity that has left a number of people dead as others fled from Kerio Valley and Baringo South.

Cheboi, on his part, said the county hospital has been facing management issues that the county government has failed to address.

But Kiptis turned on the former governor, saying his regime was corrupt but Cheboi resorted that if he was corrupt, EACC would have raided his office or even charged him.

Koech said when he served as health chief officer between 2013 and 2017, the situation was better off stating that challenges were more managerial.

Chelagat accused Kiptis of lying, adding it was irresponsible for him to ignore such an important machine as a CT Scan.

Cheboi also laid the blame over the insecurity in the area on Kiptis, saying during his time he would engage security personnel and leadership in the volatile Tiaty, Baringo North, and Baringo South, claims Kiptis dismissed.